We’re getting closer to the opening of Joss Whedon’s ‘The Avengers,’ which kick starts 2012’s summer blockbuster season by bringing together Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) for a super-powered adventure that’s sure to raise the bar for future Marvel movies.

Now that we’ve seen multiple trailers and various TV spots, Marvel has released a dozen new pics that give us better shots of our heroes in costume, as well as lengthy looks at the assorted toys employed by S.H.I.E.L.D. I really want to know what Dr. Banner is playing with below. And why is Thor in the woods, fighting Cap and Iron Man in the film’s trailers?

We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Check out the photo gallery below. It will help you prepare for 'The Avengers,' which opens everywhere on May 4, finally realizing a multi-film effort to unite Earth’s mightiest heroes under one cinematic roof.

Then, click to the bottom of the page for an interview with Marvel’s visual development supervisor/conceptual artist Ryan Meinerding, who opens up about Captain America’s redesigned suit (an apparent bone of contention amongst fans):